Are smart people geniuses or were these visited by a Genie, Muse or Drala?
The normal assumption is that you or I or Albert Einstein are geniuses. That is something you or I or he is. “I am a genius.” It is one aspect of who I am, as in I am a man, an American, a brother, an ego-centric fool, and a genius. And to be more accurate about the first sentence in this paragraph, the normative assumption is that you and I are either geniuses, or we might become geniuses, or we aren’t and don’t have that potential in us. The assumption is that any of us might, at any time, have a genie or a muse. The word “genie” comes from the Arabian “jinn” which refers to a spirit that does one’s bidding. (how did this turn into genius?) It seems very similar to being inspired by a muse – some external thing that inspires us in one of the arts. For myself, I used to try writing fiction many a year ago, and at times I would get in a grove and and it would feel as if I wasn’t really writing the stuff, it was just coming out. This might be similar to being in the flow, or in the grove. What seems But my experience was not so much that “I was in the grove” as it was that “The muses were writing through me.” Maybe those are the same things. I don’t know.
What I do know is that there seems to be a real difference between “me having a good idea” and “a good idea coming to me.” The first puts more emphasis on the “me” and is more ego-centered, while the second puts more emphasis on the outer world doing the work and is more non-fetish of the individualish, if you know what I mean.
Elizabeth Gilbert, who wrote “Eat, Pray, Love” has a great Ted Talk that expounds on this. To me the central point is that the more you can see yourself as having a Genie or being inspired by Muses, the more creativity can flow through you.
In a way this seems close to “not me, but Christ in me” or the self-visualization practices of Vajrayana Buddhism.
i mentioned Drala in the heading, and this is a term in the Shambhala tradition for invisible beings who are interested in creating Enlightened Society. When the dralas visit us, we are more inspired to recognize/create enlightened society.